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Why Bonfires Are Prohibited in Akumal, Mexico

Bonfires on the beaches of Akumal, Mexico, are largely prohibited to safeguard the fragile ecosystem, which includes marine life and coastal areas. Barring the rare occasion when weather conditions and fire-code inspections align with the moon and the stars so establishments or homeowners can obtain a permit from Tulum Municipality, initiating a bonfire here is generally off-limits.

This regulation protects the diverse species and natural habitats that make Akumal uniquely vibrant and biodiverse, ensuring that the environmental impact is minimized for future generations to enjoy.

Here’s why this ban is crucial:

Risk of Fires from Local Architecture

Many of the buildings in Akumal, including homes and businesses, feature traditional Palapa thatched roofing. While these structures are ideal for providing shade and passive cooling, they are also highly flammable. A stray spark from a bonfire could easily ignite these materials, leading to potentially devastating fires.

High Wind Conditions and Fire Risk

The Akumal area can experience high winds, which pose a significant fire hazard. Even a small ember from a bonfire can be blown into surrounding brush or forested areas, rapidly escalating into a large-scale wildfire. This is especially concerning during dry seasons when the vegetation is particularly susceptible to fires.

Protection of Marine Life

Akumal is a protected marine area noted for its biodiversity, including sea turtles. Bright lights and flames from bonfires can severely disorient sea turtles, particularly during their nesting and hatching periods. Turtles use the natural light horizon over the ocean to reach the sea after hatching. Artificial lights from bonfires can lead them away from the ocean, putting their lives at risk.


Fortunately, Akumal residents and guests work together to enforce the fire ban, but when the occasional unauthorized bonfire does arise authorities can and will arrive to inspect the site. Failure to follow safety rules and guidelines can result in fines and/or prison.

More about bonfires in Akumal

If you’re interested in learning more about fire safety and prevention in Akumal contact Protección Civil in Tulum.

Plaza Andador Tulum, Calle Okot, 77760 Tulum, QROO, México, Tulum, Mexico

+52 984 871 2688

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